Former Nuffield Scholar, Young Farmer of the Year Grand Finalist and winner of Sharemilker of the Year, Ben Allomes can now add another award to his trophy cabinet.

The DairyNZ director, along with his wife Nicky, is the inaugural winner of the MPI Good Employer Awards.

So what's makes a good employer?

"I suppose it's about understanding your business needs, understanding your people's needs and trying to match the two together," Allomes told The Country's Jamie Mackay.

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"We grew our business from nothing over the last fifteen years. We've made plenty of mistakes along the way," says Allomes, who has learned from his setbacks and now likes to put words into action.

"In my experience in the industry, [people say] 'oh we need to change this, oh we need to change that,' but we're saying, 'bugger it - we're going to do it.' "

Mackay suggests the dairy industry has a reputation for being a bad employer and Allomes admits he has "been part of that in the past," but now he has found "a better way."

"The key is, understand your people. We used to be farmers of cows. Now we manage people - and by the way, we milk cows."

"That was quite a fundamental shift for us."

It's not just other people who are important to your business says Allomes.

"If you're looking to get into employment or build a strong team, you've got to know yourself."

Also in today's interview: Ben Allomes has some more good advice on what separates a good employer from a great one.